The worn out look is difficult to simulate especially on small surfaces. Therefore the extend and the degree of it should be planned before implementing. I have to say that battle damage or worn out look was due to melee or scrimmage attacks. The weapons causing
such a damage are called "cold weapons" like swords, battle axes and spears. These are usually used by MG MS-05B Zaku-1 Ranbaral or the MS MSM-03 Gogg, which uses its claws as a melee weapon. This was my starting point and the idea of making the damage with scratches, slash and slit marks.
Cutting and sanding
In order to make the damage or the worn out look I needed to build the whole model without painting. Although it sounds easier to build and to paint later I have to admit painting after assembly is harder. But the only benefit is you can sand the way you want without the fear of damaging paint work. Before painting you have disassemble all the parts and prepare them one by one by fixing them with blue tack on the desired place.
Making the damage
It was a big challenge to make the battle damage. The difficulty is to make it look really worn out and metallic.
The scaling of the extend of the damage to be applied is the riskiest procedure. If over applied then the whole work will look like some exaggerated toy. Therefore I had to think of some ways to make the damage myself. I took all the outer armor plating and began to hit the parts with metal objects. During this process it is important to enable the part to stay loose where ever you hit it. It should be able to bounce back. If the part is fixed to a surface the impact of the hit will be more greater. Therefore the hits shouldn't be too strongly. Because there could be some unwanted damage. I also used some other objects to simulate the damage such as a knife, a screw driver, small hammer. Later some sanding was also required for corrections.
After completing to do the damage I began to put all the parts together to look if they were fitting properly after hitting them with various metal objects. I made sure they were fitting without a hitch and took them apart again for painting. Before applying the paint I washed them with detergent to get rid of any remaining grease and dirt. After that I applied a metallic finish for several times with an airbrush. During this procedure I sprayed a thin layer and waited until it was dry and continued painting another thin layer. For the harder parts such as the torso and edges of the feet I decided to use bronze, which gave the model a distinctive look.
Washing and detailing
The next step was washing, which is the second challenge and also should not be over applied. The washing is usually done with a conventional brush using thinned paint according to the topic and needed effect. That took me another day to accomplish until I was satisfied with the look. Here again the wash I have chosen was a diluted dark color such as black, which I thinned and made a runny liquid so it could easily get into the gaps. Because the wash contains high amounts of thinner the parts should be washed without assembling. The reason is that the thinner gets into the joints and does not dry as fast as on the surface. The thinner after a while sums up in the joints and eats or corrodes the plastic, which in turn damages the joints beyond repair. It is possible to repair the joints but it takes a great deal of effort to do so. Therefore I recommend to wash them before assembly.
The upper body protecting the pilot and the core was in bronze color and metal was harder so most of the damage was on the softer metal, which comprised 70% of the body. That means the softer metal was more worn out compared to the darker metal. This was the case on the edges of the feet and the torso.
To improve the effects on the head I applied a more concentrated black wash, which was less runny then the previous wash and settled immediately in the cracks. This enabled me to highlight less obvious damaged regions of the model. I always apply a gloss finish to protect the effects before proceeding to the next step.
The photos above: The Titan was fighting and blocking the attacks with its arms and legs that is one of the reasons that these were more worn out. Also the head was damaged slightly on both sides as well as from above. Non of the damages were fatal compared with the shield, which absorbed most of the attacks. The shoulder units were also damaged and the numbers and the insignia were heavily worn out.
Assembling the parts after all the procedures is the fun part because you begin to see how everything fits together not only physically but also the whole composition of the colors and the weathering effects.
Applying the decals and finishing
At last comes the second most demanding part, which is applying the decals and making them look worn out or better say matching them to the underlying surface. A smooth surface wouldn't be a big problem but an uneven surface is a big problem if you think that you have to scratch them to place and later on tear them so that they match with the whole concept of extensive use. I teared the decals after bringing them to place with the tip of the scalpel and the tweezers. To tone the decals down I used the weathering set of Tamiya and applied soot and rust by using the brush, which comes with the set. After doing that for all of the decals with an airbrush I sprayed several layers of gloss finish to protect them.
The kit was was of premium quality and the parts fitted perfectly with minimum of sanding. It was a big challenge again to build this kit but the bigger challenge was doing all the effects. And I think Titan is good model to apply worn out effects because of its robust look. I enjoyed doing this kit and the effects very much.
PS: Please copy the link below to your browser to see high resolution photos of this model.
Worn Out-RX 178-Titan
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1 September 2007
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